Director: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard & Jared Harris
Synopsis: In 1942, an intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war.
Rating: 15 Duration: 124 minutes Release date: 25 November (UK)
When you stop to consider the amount of talented people who are behind the making of Allied, it really is a shame that more was not made of this taut World War II thriller. Director Robert Zemeckis and stars Brad Pitt & Marion Cotillard deserve a better film than what is served here and what should have been a stylish, romantic thriller set among the backdrop of WWII is instead a cold, lifeless film with little to remember.
Beginning in Bond like fashion, we first meet Brad Pitt’s intelligence officer Max Vatan as he parachutes into French Morocco at the start of his mission to assassinate the German Ambassador. Before that he must meet his colleague from the French Resistance; Marianne Beausejour (Cotillard), whom he will work with in order to take down one of Germany’s top political figures. Part of their work means they must pretend to be married and the two form an unlikely relationship. Despite their differences and what can only be described as an icy relationship, the two bond, get married and have a child. All seems well until British intelligence reports that Marianne is a German spy and Max only has a small amount of time before it is proved one way or the other whether his wife is indeed working with the enemy.
Such a concept brings about ideas of adventure and derring-do with a pair of actors whose chemistry is undeniable. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen and instead we are forced through two hours of solid boredom. What should be exciting and tense is instead dull and uneventful. The two leads fail to spark and director Zemeckis fails to find the inspiration to make a really engaging film. It’s odd to see Pitt and Cotillard appear so wooden here. Their characters never seem to spark and, barring the films finale, their relationship never feels real or genuine. This mismatch makes the film feel uneven, if their relationship feels this forced then why should we care what happens to them and if we don’t care then surely the film has failed?
It’s easy to see what Zemeckis is trying to do here and create an old school romantic thriller with two dashing leads, but it’s failure to engage means it all falls flat. There are good moments here; a shoot-out at a dinner party and a night-time raid on a Police station raise the pulse, but these are few and far between. It’s interesting, but never absorbing and fails to live up to the heights previously set by the films creative and acting trio.